China’s top ride-hailing app wants to make bike-sharing a thing

The bike service, which runs via an app for iPhone or Android, started out as a student project in 2014


Steven Millward September 26, 2016
The bike service, which runs via an app for iPhone or Android, started out as a student project in 2014. PHOTO: OFO

China’s top ride-hailing startup, Didi Chuxing, already covers cars, taxis, and commuter buses – and now it’s taking a look at two wheels as well. Didi this morning announced that it has invested “tens of millions of US dollars” in a Chinese bike-sharing startup called OFO.

Didi got US$1 billion from Apple earlier this summer shortly before it bought up Uber’s China business.

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Mo OFO, mo options

The bike service, which runs via an app for iPhone or Android, started out as a student project in 2014 in the Chinese capital’s prestigious Peking University. It has since expanded to 70,000 bikes in campuses across 20 cities, with a claimed 1.5 million users taking around 500,000 rides every day.

The news comes weeks after OFO secured nearly US$4 million in funding.

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The Didi funding also entails “a multi-layered partnership between the two parties in the urban mobility sector,” according to the tech giant’s statement.

OFO isn’t the only such program on the streets of China. Many cities have municipal bike-sharing programs, and a couple of other startups are trying the same thing – such as the one created by a former Uber executive.

This article originally appeared on Tech in Asia.

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